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I Made the Decision to No Longer be a Victim

Note: This story mentions self-harm/suicidal ideation. If you or someone you know is struggling, or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Confidential chat is also available at 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

My mother and I lived with her parents due to her mental status when my father abandoned us. My grandparents acted as guardians for both of us. For at least five years of my childhood, my grandfather would sexually abuse me while my grandmother would be at church. My mom was the one who rescued me. I remember thinking it was my fault. 

Over the years many times I had questioned and pondered why my grandmother didn’t take me with her. The mental struggle was real. I had thoughts of suicide and even attempted a few different times. As a teenager, I became rebellious and looked for love in all the wrong places. 

When I was around 17 my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. I will never forget that moment that my large family all gathered to hear the news. I was sitting right below him and it was like I was being told in that moment, “Do it now. It’s time.” I felt a complete peace surround me as I told him that I forgave him for everything that he ever did to me. 

My family was raised to keep things quiet so that there wouldn’t be an embarrassment to the family name, but it was in that moment that I experienced the greatest freedom because I truly forgave. How? I don’t know. 

I made the decision to no longer be a victim so that I can share my story with other women to empower them too. 

-Felicia, Survivor